The Familistère de Guise

The main wing of the Familistère de Guise
The main wing of the Familistère de Guise

Only twenty minutes from the Maison Forestière de la Cailleuse, discover the Familistère de Guise. Built between 1858 et 1883, the Familistère was the work of Jean-Baptiste André Godin, a former factory worker who became rich by selling heating and cooking appliances.

Godin was interested in the idea of reditributing wealth to the workers, and wanted to create an alternative to the capitalistic and industrial society of the time by bringing to workers the comfort and facilities that only the middle and upper classes had access to. He called this the “equivalence of wealth”. Beginning in 1859, he began building a complex next to his factory in Guise: the Familistère, which was run like a worker’s production cooperative.

Godin’s master idea was to associate capital and workforce. He created the association called “Le Familistère” in 1880, and transformed his company into a production cooperative, the profits being used to build schools, rescue funds, etc.

This major place in French social and industrial history of the 19th and 20th century includes several buildings: workers’ housings, schools, launderettes, swimming pools, theaters, commissaries…

Ce haut-lieu de l’histoire sociale et industrielle française du 19e et 20e siècle comprend plusieurs bâtiments, destinés aux logements des ouvriers, aux écoles, buanderies, piscines, théâtre, economats…

More information can be found on the Familistère’s website.


The fortified churches of Thiérache


More than sixty fortified churches can be found in Théirache. This unique historical and architectural heritage is inherited from the geographical situation of this territory, which was marked by war, being a passing point between Picardie and Champagne but also the Germanic Empire and Kingdom of France.

Many of these churches can be freely visited. For more informations, visit Tourisme en Thiérache.


Other activities

The Picardie region, the Aisne department and the Thiérache region have an extremely rich historical, cultural, architectural and ecological heritage. To find out more about the numerous activities available, we recommend visiting the following websites: